JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Jasmine Trias joins the Society of Seven - Las Vegas onstage at the Outrigger Main Showroom in the Outrigger Waikiki.
In the 39 years since Tony Ruivivar and the original Society of Seven opened at the Outrigger Main Showroom in the Outrigger Waikiki, the group has become one of the most consistent and successful franchise acts in local entertainment.
THE SOCIETY OF SEVEN - LAS VEGAS WITH JASMINE TRIAS
Place: Outrigger Main Showroom, Outrigger Waikiki On The Beach Hotel, 2335 Kalakaua Ave.
Time: 8:30 p.m. nightly except Monday, through Aug. 7
Tickets: $51.25 (buffet dinner and show, seating at 7 p.m.); $29.50 show only
The equivalent of three complete seven-man groups had been members by the time the group received a lifetime achievement award from the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts in 2007. Today, the original Society of Seven is now based in Las Vegas while their protege group, the Society of Seven - Las Vegas, is in its seventh year as headliners at the Outrigger. Ruivivar knows what works - in a Waikiki showroom or a Vegas lounge - so there no surprises, and only a minor miscue or two, as the SOS-LV welcomes "American Idol" finalist Jasmine Trias as a "guest artist" through July 31.
The guys - William Daquioag, Mike DeGuzman, Jonathan Kaina, Glenn Miyashiro, Richard Natto, John Salvatera and Freddy Von Paraz - are as tight and self-sufficient of an act as always. Trias fits in nicely in several segments.
A short Miami Sound Machine medley introduces the septet as a powerful and versatile act. Musical celebrity impressions, a high-powered set of big-band standards and a salute to Broadway are among the components of a polished 90-minute show.
This season's audience participation segment is a revival of the "Society of Seven School of Elvis Impersonators." Three members of the audience become stars - for a few minutes, anyway.
As always, the SOS is long on talent. Von Paraz steps out from behind the drums for a surprisingly good impression of Mick Jagger. He also earns applause channeling Flavor Flav in a nicely choreographed "VH1" segment.
Salvatera and Miyashiro are audience favorites, as always, as Sonny and Cher. Other members of the group perform as Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, James Brown and Frank Sinatra. Salvatera returns as Sammy Davis Jr., and the guys all participate in a tribute to the Beatles.
Trias has performed with the original SOS in Las Vegas and at the Blaisdell Concert Hall last summer; plus, the SOS-LV has accommodated guest vocalists in the past, so the double-bill format is familiar territory for all. Trias' first appearance onstage builds on her "American Idol" fame with a pair of Natalie Cole hits. She returns as Natalie opposite DeGuzman as Nat "King" Cole on "Unforgettable."
Trias adds a trio of impressions to the show with her take on Shakira, Britney Spears and Beyonce. Spears, her best character a year ago, is still tops, but she also has mastered the choreography for her Beyonce performance.
The SOS-LV's show-closing salute to Broadway includes Trias singing "Happy Talk" and "I Would Die For You"; the classics showcase how significantly the artist has grown since her "American Idol" days.
The comic affectations added to "And I Am Telling You," however, spoil the final number in her Broadway set. Old-time SOS fans will already be comparing her rendition with "Little Albert" Maligmat's powerful interpretation circa 1983, and even without Maligmat to think about, it's not a song to be done for laughs.